A Washington Man Got Caught Trying to Insure His Car After an Accident

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Insurance fraud is never a good idea, but some schemes are dumber than others. A Tacoma, Washington man’s attempt to defraud a major insurance provider lands him among the most ridiculous.
Byron Mounce pleaded guilty to third-degree theft after an investigation showed he had signed up for car insurance two days after crashing his Mercedes on Interstate 90.
Making a claim the day he signed up for his policy was the first indicator that something was awry. But his phone call with the insurance adjuster and a record of his car being impounded two days earlier were the smoking guns that launched the investigation.
A person pulling out their phone after a car accident
Make sure you’re properly protected before an accident happens.

What exactly did Byron Mounce try to do?

Mounce bought a policy from Esurance, a subsidiary of Allstate, on Halloween of 2018. The same day, Insurance Journal says he made a $3,500 claim.
On the phone, he told his adjuster that he’d driven into a concrete wall after being run off the road by another driver. But he was overheard telling the tow truck driver another story—that the accident was caused by a steering problem.
The record of the Mercedes being impounded led Esurance to deny the claim and refer it to State investigators.
After pleading guilty, Mounce was sentenced to 80 hours of community service and had to pay a $500 crime victim compensation penalty. Further restitution was determined at a later court date.

Other insurance fraud scheme fails

Mr. Mounce was clearly no con artist, but his story is just a dip in the pot of easily foiled car insurance fraud attempts over the years.
Nicolas DiPuma of Delaware got a little too greedy when he claimed that a fire that started on his wood stove spread to a pile of coals, which he proceeded to throw onto his couch and out the window into his convertible. Complex says it was hard to convince him to plead guilty to insurance fraud charges.
Suliman Kamara, a Newark, New Jersey police officer, claimed his car had been stolen and then drove it for three years after receiving $10,000 from his insurer. NJ.com says he got caught when his adjuster happened to drive by his home and see the vehicle in the driveway.

How insurance fraud affects you

We can all laugh at these stories, but the truth is that these crooks’ poorly planned crimes come at a cost to all policyholders. The Insurance Information Institute says insurance fraud costs Americans $40 billion every year. That’s $400 to $700 per person.
You can’t do much to stop fraudsters on your own, but there are ways to bring your insurance costs down. The easiest way? Shop for car insurance with Jerry.
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